Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Claims

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A personal injury claim boils down to whose fault the accident was, and how much the claim is worth to the injured party. As the video above emphasizes, there may be more than one injured party, and the injured parties themselves may be found negligent to some degree.

The legal theory of negligence in personal injury law is defined as the breach of a duty of care resulting in loss or damage to another person. Consider it in this way: everyone of responsible age and sound mind has an obligation, a duty, to pay proper attention and exercise reasonable care so as not to cause injury to others. Negligence can be thought of as careless or reckless behavior, whereby failing to pay proper attention under the circumstances causes someone to get hurt.

For the purpose of illustration, simplified examples of negligence might include serious car accidents caused by running a stop light, speeding, or DUI. Negligence in a slip and fall accident may be caused by store personnel leaving a wet floor unattended and unmarked.

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The standard used in determining whether someone acted negligently is whether that person was exercising a reasonable amount of “due care” under the circumstances. Due care is the effort someone makes to prevent injuring another person in the course of everyday activities.

What would a “reasonable person” have done in the same situation? In our simplified examples, a reasonable person would not run a red light, would not drive under the influence of alcohol, nor would they leave dangerous water on the floor of a busy store.

How Do You Prove Negligence in Personal Injury?

To prove negligence in a Florida personal injury lawsuit, an attorney will break a case into four main elements:

  • Duty of Care: First, establish that an obligation of care was owed to the injured party by the defendant. A driver has a duty to drive safely and reasonably to avoid colliding with other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. (Likewise, pedestrians and bicyclists are under a duty to practice due care and avoid injury.)
  • Breach of duty: Plaintiff’s attorney must next prove the defendant did not act reasonably and there for duty of care was breached.
  • Causation: Generally when breach of duty is established, the attorney for the plaintiff must prove the complex theory of causation. Causation establishes the defendant's actions directly caused the harm. If the driver had not run the red light, if the store owner had mopped up the water, there would be no injury.
  • Damages: Once duty of care, breach of duty and causation are proven, the attorney must show the injured party suffered the physical or economic damage (or both) as claimed, for which the plaintiff can be financially compensated.

One of the most complex and technical elements of personal injury law is proving negligence, and it is essential in obtaining fair damages for the injury.

In Florida, the biggest difference in personal injury law pertains to auto accidents. Florida is a no-fault state in which every driver must have insurance that pays up to $10,000 for injuries and damages caused by a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. We all know this as PIP (personal injury protection). In serious accidents, injury victims may file a personal injury lawsuit.

Choose an Experienced Orlando Lawyer

A lawyer with Kramer Law will be able to explore all of the components of a complex injury case and determine whether a case exists. We have the skills and resources to handle serious personal injury cases including brain injury, paralysis, spinal cord injury, loss of limb, all manner of fractures and broken bones, disfigurement and internal injuries. Our attorneys represent the surviving family members of people killed in accidents of all kinds.

If you need to speak with a negligence lawyer, we at Kramer Law can offer you powerful representation immediately. Please contact us here or call 855-Kramer-Now (855-572-6376).

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